Concert Reviews

Lil Debbie at Lee’s Palace

Bitches Gotta Ball- but Not in Canada…

Lil Debbie – the five-foot tall, trash-talking hoodrat from Oakland, California, known for her explicit songs about bitches, blunts, and ballin,’ turned up Lee’s Palace last night in an x-rated, sweat-soaked performance.

“I like to talk a lot” she screamed at the audience, “And if you don’t like it you can leave.” Then she launched into her set, thrashing her bleached-blond hair around and jumping and grinding for the audience like a female cross between Kurt Cobain, and Lil John. She worked the room into frenzy, playing classics like Michelle Obama, Two Cups, Bitches, Slot Machine, Bake a Cake, Bitches Gotta Ball, and Ratchets. Lil Debbie’s music swings between the style of dirty-south rap tomes about purple drank and swishers, to a catchy, So-Cal Gwen Stefanie vibe. Running under these genres are Lil Debbie’s constant and proud feminist assertions about being her own boss, making her own paper, and controlling her own image. “I ain’t that bitch to shake my ass or show my tits for money. Uh uh. I don’t gotta do that shit.” She proclaimed into the microphone after a guy in the crowd yelled at her to take her top off during the show.

Without her regular backup dancer, who at the last minute realized she did not have a valid passport to enter Canada, the Queen D commanded the stage all by herself with non-stop dancing, verbal diarrhea, and infectious beats. She separated each song with rants about her tracks, her hometown, and the rappers she loved to hate. High energy from start to finish, Lil Debbie spent as much time goading and chastising the crowd as she did rapping. From time to time she hit a wall with the California/Canada cultural divide. For example shouting, “This one is for the Trap Daddies! Are there any trap-daddies out there?” Only to realize that no one in the crowd really seemed to know what a “trap daddy” was. At another point, after she bitched about not being high, someone from the audience passed her a gold blunt, but the Queen D refused to smoke the joint- afraid she would “go to prison in Canada.” This did not go over well with her Toronto fans, who clearly wanted her to live up to her pothead, bad-bitch reputation by smoking the great North’s dope on stage.

With her all-mirrors and no-smoke act, the Canadian audience of bearded-hipsters and heavy-set lesbians did not get as fired up as Lil Debbie wanted and both audience and performer felt frustrated during parts of the show. For her only Canadian stop on this Homegrown tour, the small, and at times tepid Toronto crowd was probably a bit of a bust for Lil Debbie. Still, what she lacked in personal likeability, she made up for with her based-out beats and tightly-executed verses. She closed the show with newer tracks like “Let’s Get High” and “Break it Down.”

By the end of the night everyone was dancing, including a girl in the front row who jumped on stage and did a near-professional, unsolicited dance performance, making up for Debbie’s missing crew.

For her final encore, Debbie did a repeat performance of her popular track with fellow Oaktown bitch rapper V-Nasty, Gotta Ball, then excused herself to go to the back alley behind Lee’s to finally smoke the gold blunt she had been waiting for all night.

About author

Photographer, and Senior Music Writer at Live in Limbo. Agah is a musician, sound designer, and hobbyist writer & photographer. He is a voting member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMY Awards), and former voting member and judge of CARAS (JUNO Awards).